CONCORD — Summer is a great time to get in a Hunter or Bowhunter Education course in time for the fall hunting seasons. Log onto the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website today to sign up for a Hunter or Bowhunter Education course.
"Summer is the best time to take any of the Hunter Education courses, because the demand is lower and availability is higher," Fish and Game Hunter Education Coordinator Josh Mackay said.
To register, visithuntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm. Under "Find a Class," click on the link for traditional hunter education, online hunter education or traditional bowhunter education courses. Scroll down and use the calendar search engine to find classes using your zip code, and scrolling the calendar.
Once you find a class, simply click on the event to preview all the details about the course, and to register. Once you've successfully registered, you will receive a confirmation email with your account information and a copy of the course registration page. If you have any trouble registering for a hunter or bowhunter education course using the online system, call the Hunter Education office at 271-3214.
Who should sign up for hunter education? All new hunters, and hunters without a previous hunting license, must take a hunter education course (those age 16 or older need a license to hunt; youth are encouraged to take hunter education between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday).
To meet this requirement, Fish and Game offers Hunter and Bowhunter Education classes around the state, as well as Trapper Education. To receive a certificate of completion, participants in these programs must be 12 years old by the end of the course. Courses are available from February through October, but they fill up fast, so don't delay.
"Because of its ever-increasing popularity, just taking the online class does not guarantee a field day will be immediately available," Mackay said. "Once you complete the online course, it is best to immediately register for the next field day. And don't wait until September to complete the online course, or it will most likely be too late; the field days for September and October are often filled at that point."
If you miss your chance to complete a Hunter Class in time for hunting season, keep in mind the option of getting an Apprentice Hunting License, with which you could hunt accompanied by a licensed hunter age 18 or older. Learn more at wildnh.com/Hunting/apprentice.html.
In 2011, more than 500 trained volunteer Hunter Education instructors taught 107 traditional Hunter and Bowhunter Education courses, plus 16 field days for students who completed their studies online. The program certified 3,423 new hunters.
To find out more about Fish and Game's Hunter Education Program, visit huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm.
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